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Ten Years Of Mrs T.

  • BEAN, C.
  • SYMONS, J.

We argue that the 1970s were characterized by attempts to maintain a cooperative, low unemployment equilibrium in the face of considerable union power, through use of incomes policies and neo-corporatist machinery. The 1980s saw a shift away from this, towards direct measures to limit union power. This, together with the adoption of tight macroeconomic policies, explains the initial rise in unemployment. The reduction in union power also helps to explain the acceleration in productivity growth. The craft nature of much of the British union movement has led to a multiplication of bargaining units wihin firms. Bargaining in isolation a union can perceive overmanning and other restrictive practices as being in its intrests, resulting in low wages and productivity. A fall in union power results in a reduction in these inefficiencies and leads not only to a rise in productivity but also in wages.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics in its series Papers with number 370.

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Length: 76 pages
Date of creation: 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:lseple:370
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page:

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  1. Newell, A. & Symons, J. S. V., 1987. "Corporatism, laissez-faire and the rise in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 567-601, April.
  2. Willem H. Buiter & Marcus Miller, 1983. "Changing the Rules: Economic Consequences of the Thatcher Regime," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 305-380.
  3. Bean, C. & Gavosto, A., 1989. "Outsiders, Capacity Shortages And Unemployment In The United Kingdom," Papers 332, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1987. "Cooperation, Harassment, and Involuntary Unemployment: An Insider-Outsider Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ashton, Paul & Minford, Patrick, 1988. "The Poverty Trap and the Laffer Curve: What Can the GHS Tell Us?," CEPR Discussion Papers 275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J & Turnbull, Peter J, 1985. "Pay and Employment Determination in Britain: What Are Labour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 80-97, Summer.
  7. repec:sae:niesru:v:97:y:1981:i:1:p:83-83 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. William H. Buiter & Marcus Miller, 1981. "The Thatcher Experiment: The First Two Years," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 315-380.
  9. Gottfries, Nils & Horn, Henrik, 1987. "Wage Formation and the Persistence of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 877-84, December.
  10. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
  11. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Newell, A. & Symons, J., 1989. "The Passing Of The Golden Age," Papers 347, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  13. S.J. Prais & Karin Wagner, 1988. "Productivity and Management: the Training of Foremen in Britain and Germany," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 123(1), pages 34-46, February.
  14. Jackman, R & Roper, S, 1987. "Structural Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(1), pages 9-36, February.
  15. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  16. Wadhwani, Sushil & Wall, Martin, 1986. "The UK Capital Stock--New Estimates of Premature Scrapping," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 44-55, Autumn.
  17. repec:sae:niesru:v:126:y::i:1:p:57-70 is not listed on IDEAS
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